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Found 69 results

  1. October 21, 2020 was a night for making and breaking records. The match between the perennially struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore and one of the favourites of the 2020 Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t quite go as expected. Having won the toss, KKR decided to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium but they weren’t truly ready for the RCB bowlers, or rather, one single bowler - Mohammed Siraj. View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@royalchallengersbangalore) Bowling all overs allotted to him by his skipper Virat Kohli “bhai” as he loves to call him, Siraj became the first man ever in the history of the league to deliver two maiden overs in a single match. During his stint with the ball, he gave away just eight runs while also taking three wickets, completely deleting KKR’s top order batsmen Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana and Tom Banton. View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@royalchallengersbangalore) After the best game of his career, Siraj got into the details of what went down on the field. In a conversation with iplt20.com, he explained how he dismissed Nitish Rana on the very first ball: “Virat (Kohli) bhai's plan was for me to bowl a bouncer but when I was at the start of my run-up, I thought 'no let me pitch it up'. I pitched it up, and it came out well and I got a wicket.”His well-deserving ‘Man of the Match’ performance restricted Kolkata to a 84-run total which is the lowest team total ever in league history. View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@royalchallengersbangalore) RCB were able to easily chase down the total in 13 and a half overs while only losing two wickets. Mohammed Siraj’s exceptional achievement hits differently because of the kind of struggle he’d been facing in the Indian T20 League. According to ESPNcricinfo before the match against KKR, Siraj had an economy rate of 9.29 - the worst among 92 bowlers with at least 100 overs to their name. Mohammed Siraj has given all the answers to the trolls. #RCBvKKR #IPL2020 — Ishan Shrestha (@ishaanshrestha) October 21, 2020 He’d become the butt of thousands of jokes and memes from all over the country for his expensive spells. The fact that RCB rarely did well ahead of this season didn’t help his case of actually being a good bowler. After Wednesday’s match, Kohli talked about Siraj’s resurgence in the post-match presentation. He said: "Last year he had a tough year and a lot of people went quite hard at him. This time around he worked hard, he was really determined, and in practice as well, he was hitting the right areas, talking to the bowling coach… There's a reason why people mention process being so important and he's worked on the process now and he's seen a result now but we want him to keep continuing the same way." View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@royalchallengersbangalore) If you wish to see what an impact Siraj can leave on the field, take a look at his domestic career and the numbers he’d been putting up. A Hyderabad pacer who averaged almost five wickets per game in just his second Ranji Trophy season, Siraj also did wonders in the limited-overs format of the game when in 2018, he booked three five-fors in just six matches during the Vijay Hazare trophy. As far as competing against international players is concerned, the 26-year-old is known for his eight-wicket domination in a single innings against the Australians as a member of the India-A team. #INDAvAUSA Eight wickets for Mohammed Siraj, 127 for @Uz_Khawaja Australia A all out for 243 in Bengaluru Match report: https://t.co/nmugkgRGrV pic.twitter.com/nEELoYk6mj — CricketCountry (@cricket_country) September 2, 2018 Some critics continue to feel that Siraj’s night against Dinesh Karthik’s side was an anomaly and that something like this cannot and will not happen again. While his numbers in the league do incline towards the notion, it all boils down to the kind of faith and dedication the franchise and Kohli himself put in the young speedster. View the full article
  2. If you are an aspiring filmmaker or a musician, there are fat chances you haven’t heard of India Film Project. In the last nine years that it has existed for, the “content festival” as they call themselves, has scaled great heights in bringing together artists or creators from all over the country, and the world, on one platform to help showcase their talent to a massive audience. As IFP continues to make headway in newer countries, constantly reinventing ways to grow the community, we sit down for a brisk chat with the brains behind the festival. © India Film Project While Ritam Bhatnagar founded the India Film Project in 2011 and has been instrumental in getting national and international associations going for the platform, Nikhil joined IFP as festival creative director in 2018 where he helps program the annual festival every year, and decides what should be the programming parameters of the festival, the invitees, and the kind of conversation we should be having. Here are the excerpts from the interview: MensXP: What goes behind creating sessions on the theme of Create/Collaborate/Celebrate? How do you ensure that you give more space to creators and others behind the camera? Nikhil Taneja: When you are programming a festival of, for and by young creators, the most important aspect of that is listening to them: what is it, that in a pandemic, do young people want to listen to, learn from or engage with? So the first part of the programming is doing a survey or research to understand the expectations of young people from a much-loved decade-old festival that's gone virtual in a pandemic. When we rolled out this survey to some of IFP’s most passionate fans and community members, the insight from the answers made the programming a wholesome job. Young people want to learn even more at a time where they need to upskill, grow, or pivot in a way that they can take their passion or skills to the next level, in content creation. And the breakdown of the stages - Create, Collaborate and Celebrate - ensures that they are getting everything from masterclasses in creation, to workshops in collaboration, to enjoyable conversations that celebrate the year’s best. Ensuring equal space to all creators is easy, because one of the tenets of programming a youth content festival is to be as inclusive and representative as possible. © India Film Project MXP: Could you tell us about the IFPX Virtual Festival? And what's new about it this time? NT: Every year, we try to make IFP the most wholesome and engaging festival of the year. Every conversation and panel tries to get the most insightful and incredible noisemakers of the year together to not just give something for the audience to take away, but also to learn something for themselves. This year, being a virtual festival, we were aware of how exhausting it can be to be in front of a screen the whole time, and also how there have already been so many lives and conversations between creators and audiences themselves. So the focus this year was to have conversations that will be most meaningful to the youth in a time like this, where it’s been a tough year to get through. We’ve got some of the fan favourites of the year - from Kusha Kapila, BeYouNick and Ranveer Allahbadia (Beerbisceps) to legends like Gajraj Rao, Ratna Pathak Shah, Pankaj Tripathi and Mira Nair, to young trailblazers like Ahsaas Channa, Aranya Johar and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever), to Bollywood stars like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar. And our conversations span from inclusive conversations about gender equality and representation, to technical masterclasses, to conversations about mental health and productivity as well! The idea is to entertain, engage, educate and enlighten every young person, with empathy and joy, and the full IFP team has worked really very hard to make that happen. MXP: How do you assess the performing arts space in India? Have we tapped into its full potential yet? What can be done to harness that? NT: I think we are doing far better and more than we ever have in the past, thanks to the wonderful medium of the internet that has democratised art and expression. 10 years ago, you couldn’t have imagined so many people without any connections or background in the film, media or content industries, to have managed to put out their content from wherever they are in the country and found an audience for the same. Today, anyone with an original voice, authenticity, and passion can make it with just the help of a phone video camera and a 4G connection. But we still have a long way to go to reach our full potential. We are still not hearing the voices of young people from minority communities, from marginalised backgrounds and the smaller towns of India where they have so much to say, but very few to listen. To harness their voices, we need to do outreach not only online but on ground, and make sure we train people in different parts of the country to be able to use their phones to put out their voices. And only then will we truly be able to see content as diverse as the country we live in. © India Film Project MXP: Given how COVID has affected the performing arts landscape in India, how do you suggest artists maintain their mental health during these testing times? NT: I think artists must start by recognising that this has been the toughest year for all of us in perhaps our entire lifetimes, and it’s not been easy for any of us. So almost everyone has gone through challenges with their mental health, no matter how healthy or fit they have been otherwise. We need to realise that we are not alone in what we are going through, and acknowledge that it is okay to struggle with mental health at at time when it’s not easy to be creative, productive and committed in the same way as before, given the kind of news and the kind of circumstances we live in. So we absolutely need to be kind to ourselves for going through whatever it is that we may be struggling with, and then, of course, finding someone to talk to about it, ideally a therapist or a counsellor, and if not, then at least a family member or a trusted friend. We must not try and bear the burden of this exhausting and excruciating year by ourselves, just being vulnerable, and having a conversation about what you are going through may be remarkable for your mental health. But it is a process, and will require patience, but everyone has their own timelines of feel healthy mentally, and that’s completely okay! MensXP: Whom did the idea for IFP first strike? Who conceptualized it and how did the entire project come to life? Ritam Bhatnagar: I used to work with a film festival and saw filmmakers from across the world pouring in their entries. This was the first time I saw how the love around filmmaking was catching up across the world. As a kid, I had been a very enterprising one. Someone who believed in doing things on my own. In 2011 after completing my post grad, I was looking for ideas that could potentially help create a similar love for filmmaking in India. I thought, why not gather people together under one roof, give them a theme, and ask them to make a film over a weekend. This looked as a great opportunity for creators collaborating with like-minded creators. What started with 600 filmmakers participating from 19 cities in 2011 grew in to 38,000 filmmakers participating from 31 countries and 325+ cities in 2020. © India Film Project MXP: Compared to 2011, how would you say IFP has evolved over the years? Has it been as you had planned? RB: A lot of it has been, in fact, unplanned. When I thought of first IFP, it was just a stand alone activity I had thought about and not as an annual fest. Also the thought was to make it a weekend getaway for filmmakers. A random call on our landline in 2012 inquiring about the second edition was the push for us to think about doing it again. That is when we thought of making it an annual affair. In 2013, we received our first team from USA and we thought the time had come to expand the festival. In 2014, we opened ourselves for international participation and saw more than 11 participating countries. This was something we had never thought of. We saw over 15,000 filmmakers coming together from so many continents making films at the same time. In 2016, we decided to make this a festival and move it to Mumbai. Mumbai was a central location for national and international creators to travel and it made a lot of sense for us. Initially, we just did a single day festival and saw 8,000 people attending it. We were not prepared for it at all. But this was a magical moment for us. Every organization sometime in their lifecycle experiences such a feat. View the full article
  3. Over the last couple of months, India has been caught in a high-TRP-driven media war with the drug mafia. But while we continue to make sense of the rising addiction rates (and screaming matches), there is no denying that we are indeed in a crisis. Amidst this loud madness, Akshay Oberoi arrived on the web-series space with the MX Original series High. Dark, gritty, and original, High takes us on an entertainment overdose with a gripping 9-episodic series. The show starts on a grim note, taking us through the insufferable and intoxicated life of Shiv (Akshay Oberoi). A young man on the brink of career-changing moves resorts to drugs and alcohol after a life-altering night. Under the influence of his drug-induced rage, Shiv sells off every last valuable item he owns, only to end up penniless, passed out in a public washroom with a needle up his arm. MX Player At the onset, High may come across as a crude mix of the underworld mafia and a drug-addict millennial, but here’s when things come together (for the viewers, at least). After being forced into rehab by his friends, Shiv meets Dr. Roy (Prakash Belawadi), junior doctors Shweta (Shweta Basu Prasad), and Nakul (Nakul Bhalla). On his very first night in the rehab, Dr. Shweta smuggles in a white “magical” powder that leaves Shiv on an emotional and happy high. But this isn’t your regular maal. It is an experimental drug the doctors are testing out. Directed by Nikhil Rao, the fast-paced series jumps straight to the drug race. As the drug cartels try to keep their business afloat, pharma companies try to get their hands on this new drug, while the new channels are trying to get a scoop on the miracle drug. Amidst this, a pharma company hires an assassin Lakda (Ranvir Shorey) to get hold of this magical drug and its makers. MX Player After a surreal magical experience with the powder, Shiv decides to collaborate with the doctors. But where will his new life lead him? Is the life-changing drug worth risking your life for? The series enthralls you with many such questions and then some more. The dark and lowlight cinematography adds a somber and gloom-tinted filter to the series. The screenplay moves swiftly, not leaving a lull in the captivating narrative. This home-grown gritty drama makes it to our must-watch list for the bold and ambitious approach to a complicated subject. Without giving out any spoilers, we can say that the only kind of High you need this weekend is the one on MX Player. You can start streaming the series here. View the full article
  4. 'To ensure I don't infect anybody after getting tested, I isolated myself in my room,' said Malaika Arora
  5. Though the world of Bollywood celebrities appears hunky-dory, it is also a mix of a truckload of controversies sometimes. Then be it affairs or relationships, when it comes to love even these celebrities have dealt with the thick and thins of relationships. While on the other side of the spectrum we might assume that they are able to handle everything, in some cases even they have spoken out loud about their breakups. Here are celebrity statements that show love is indeed a hurtful journey, sometimes. 1. Deepika Padukone © Instagram/DeepuRan_FC Breakups become an integral part of our lives and they teach us so many things as a person. Deepika Padukone, who went vocal about her relationship with Ranbir Kapoor, also had to bare it all when she broke up with him. She said in one of the interviews "I was foolish enough to give him a second chance because he begged and pleaded, despite the fact that everyone around me said he was still straying. Then I actually caught him red-handed. It took me a while to get out. But having done that, nothing can make me go back. That ship has sailed. It made me realise I should not be so attached to one thing or a person - after the break-up the fact that I had to pick myself up. I cried a lot after my break-up. But I have become a better person and I thank him for that." 2. Shahid Kapoor © Instagram/DeepuRan_FC Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan dated for a very long time as we all know. But their breakup was not quite seamless. Shahid never discussed things in detail but quoted in of the interviews, "Yes, it was a very trying period for me for almost a month, and it was very clearly a question for me of choosing between my personal feelings and my profession. I had two choices, one was to come back and not talk at all, not go out in the press and not interact with the mediaâ which would save me the pain of answering questions which I am uncomfortable about, or go out there and promote my film which was released in three weeks. I chose to do the latter because I think it was important for me as a hero to be there for my film and I had great faith in the film. So yes it was difficult and uncomfortable but I accepted that as a part of the way things work out here." 3. Sushant Singh Rajput © Instagram/SushantSingh_FC For someone who dated a girl for over a decade, breaking up would not have been easy on him. Sushant Singh Rajput fell for Ankita Lokhande during Pavitra Rishta and they called it quits in 2016 . He said that there is nothing left to learn and the next time he gets into a relationship, he won't make it a big deal. So that if something goes wrong, it does not become a big deal. Fair enough! 4. Katrina Kaif © Youtube It was not just Deepika Padukone who went vocal about her relationship with Ranbir but we also have Katrina Kaif in line who also opened up a bit post her break up. She said that it was a difficult time and she would not want to discuss it and would like to keep in under wraps. 5. Bipasha Basu © Wikipedia John Abraham and Bipasha Basu as well announced their split after 10 years of being together. When she was asked about the failed relationship, she said "No. It was definitely not amicable. No break-up is ever amicable. Otherwise, no one would break up. There are always reasons. Otherwise, there wonât be any break-ups." 6. Illena D'Cruz © Instagram/ Illena D'Cruz Illena was in a relationship with a photographer from Australia called Andrew Kneebone. However, they have now parted ways after being together for a couple of years. She said "I don't get upset. When you are going through a situation like this, you understand the value of your family and friends. It's the same that happened to me. I had my family and closest friends supporting me right through it." Way to go, Illena! View the full article
  6. The world record holder for the highest individual score by a batsman in the history of One-Day International (ODI) cricket. The only player to have scored three double hundreds in the 50-over format. The man with most number of centuries in the history of Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). Rohit Sharma is as big and as respected as they come in international cricket. Starting his career as a middle-order batsman, Rohit struggled to find his feet and cement his position in the Indian team early on in his career. By stroke of sheer luck, the Mumbai batsman was handed the responsibility of opening the innings for India and since then, there has been no turning back for the marauding right-hander. Today, he is recognised as a vital cog in the Indian batting line-up and a swashbuckling opening batsman who is capable of tearing any bowling attack apart on the cricket field. His artistry with the willow has not only earned him plaudits from the greats, but also allowed him to win multiple honours. © Instagram/@rohitsharma45 Spending time with his uncles who were all cricketers at school and college levels early in their lives, it was quite obvious for Rohit to fall in love with cricket. After playing for countless hours in the streets of his grandparents' residence, Rohit's cricketing ambitions were given a boost by his loving uncles who pitched in Rs 50 each to get him enrolled in a cricket camp in 1999. Starting his cricketing endeavours as an off-spinner who could bat a little, Dinesh Lad, who was running the cricket camp, spotted the ability of Rohit as a batsman. Soon, he advised Rohit to change his school to 'Swami Vivekanand International School' which had better cricket facilities. But, given his family's condition, Rohit told his coach that he wouldn't be able to afford the school. Just when things looked bleak, Rohit found a saviour in his coach Lad who got him a scholarship that finally saw him move to the Vivekanand school. Honing the skills with better facilities at his new school, Rohit underwent a crucial transformation from being a spinner to becoming a potent opening batsman - something that was visible in his Harris and Giles Shield debut where he scored a century as an opener. © Reuters But, while Team India, under the leadership of MS Dhoni, went on to win the inaugural World T20, Rohit, from thereon, couldn't justify his place in the national side. Batting in the middle-order and failing to prove his worth with the willow, Rohit remained in and out of the Indian team for five frustrating years and even missed out on being selected for the 2011 World Cup. Rohit's inconsistent run reached to a disastrous low in 2012 where he scored just 168 runs in the whole calendar year at an unbelievably poor average of 12.92 with just one fifty to his name. But, despite his poor form, Dhoni showed his faith in Rohit when he asked him to open the innings for India in the 2013 Champions Trophy - a move that went on to change the career of the Mumbai batsman. And, since then, there has been no turning back for Rohit. View the full article
  7. Up to 25,000 British Muslims were expected to make the pilgrimage to the birthplace of Islam in Saudi Arabia in July
  8. Sometimes you wake up in the middle of a deeply gratifying dream and wish to drop dead asleep again to resume or finish the storyline that your subconscious mind was playing out. I was invited to London to watch an English Premier League game, and my consciously Manchester United-crazy mind demanded that I squeeze in a visit to Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams, to fulfil a lifelong dream of watching my favourite club play live. And much to the dismay of my boss, thatâs exactly what I did. View this post on InstagramIn need of some #WednesdayMotivation? Why not book a trip to the city of Manchester? ð ð¸: @asinglestepblogA post shared by (@nationalexpress) United were due to play Burnley in an English Premier League encounter (honorary mention to partners Budweiser 0.0, who made my trip possible) on January 23, 2020, having endured an eventfully ill-fated month till that point. Recent losses against Arsenal, Liverpool and (in the cup vs) Manchester City meant that tickets were easily available on manutd.com for this home fixture against a then-bottom table side. Little did we know that the game would end 0-2 in favour of the visitors and would trigger the infamous walkouts that might even continue after the ongoing winter break; but more on that, later. To buy tickets for home matches, follow these steps: - Sign up for a free membership on the website - Use the membership number to sign in - Visit the ticketing section on the website and select the game you want to watch - The blocks coloured in blue will have vacant seats - Upon selecting, the website suggests the best available seat - Among âadult,â âunder 16,â âseniorâ etc, pick the category that you belong to and proceed to pay - Tickets are delivered if booked well in advance, otherwise you can collect them on matchday at the ticket counters with valid ID Note: You can follow a similar process to buy tickets for the stadium tour. Categories include but are not limited to âEnhanced Tourâ and âLegends Tour.â Next step was to find accommodation and stay, hostelworld.com and rome2rio.com always being my go-to websites. A four-hour non-stop bus is the most affordable and time-effective commute. Mine was a 12-pound National Express coach that drops you in the heart of Manchester, near Piccadilly Gardens. The dorm was at walkable distance, in the most hipster-ish neighbourhood on Hilton Street. The ClubI checked in, lit a cigarette and immediately after the first drag, it sank in. I WAS IN FUCKING MANCHESTER! FOR REAL, I WAS GOING TO WATCH A GAME AT OLD TRAFFORD! At a loss for words, my overcome state of mind at this point is best summed up by a fellow Red Devil from USA, Chris Castaneda, who told B/R after visiting OT for the first time in 2015 : âThe buildup is incredibly unnerving, you struggle so much waiting for the moment that you show up at the stadium five hours before the match, when no one else is around, and just take the time to walk around and admire everything about the ground.â © MENSXP/Alshaar After a quick kebab meal (I love eating doner kebabs in Europe), I was advised by the hostel staff to take the tram to Old Trafford. The tram was right next to Piccadilly Gardens. Tickets can be purchased from vending machines. Mine cost £ 2.40. I got off at Trafford Bar station and exited on to Warwick Road, Google Mapped my way down towards the stadium, passed the Old Trafford cricket stadium, bought a retro Eric Cantona scarf, and here I was (exactly five hours ahead of kickoff) â staring at the glass walls of my footballing mecca through the silhouette of the Holy Trinity. One big downside of travelling alone (apart from not having a personal photographer) though is that sometimes when youâre dumbfounded, getting a second opinion becomes a daunting task. Your mind simply goes blank and instincts take over. Some might call it âliving in the moment;â for me it translated into paying a father-son duo three pounds to click pictures of me with replica trophies in front of the stadiumâs main entrance â guilty pleasures; not complaining. © MENSXP/Alshaar By the time I was done collecting my ticket, video calling loved ones back home, indulging in front camera vanity and realising that you should always book the stadium tour in advance, the sun had set and more matchgoers had arrived. A stadium parikrama was followed by joining the crowd in anticipation of the team buses. That would take another hour or so, but I encountered two very interesting young men from Nottingham leaning against the barricades. In his late teens, Joe Roberto, a fellow Man United supporter, was here for the first time with his friend Antonio, who is half Italian and is more interested in the Serie A than the EPL. The duo was fascinated by my work that takes me around the world (very humbly; you can read about my trips to Russia , Italy , Vietnam , France etc and decide for yourself), but more so because they were both considering applying for police jobs given the high crime rate in their county. © MENSXP/Alshaar So far, the day had only been about my dreams and my ambitions, but this conversation gave me a window inside the lives of the actual people living in this part of the United Kingdom. Thereâs sport, thereâs religion; of course money matters; and then, thereâs a growing sense of national pride, which one might not be unfamiliar with, irrespective of your current coordinates. The light-hearted banter, nonetheless, very much continued with Joe and I outnumbering Antonio. But the team buses had now arrived and the starting XI on the day would set the tone for the impending doom that awaited United and its frustrated fanbase, on the pitch. View this post on Instagramð´ And in the red corner... #MUFCA post shared by (@manchesterunited) Up in Block N42 of the Sir Alex Ferguson stand, a few flights of stairs, a pint of beer and half an hour later, the chatter was about Mason Greenwood not starting, Phil Jones replacing an injured Victor Lindelof, and Andreas Pereira being given yet another shot at the #10 role. The teams came out and bitterly honest words from a loyal United fan Steven Narloch, which I had read online in his Old Trafford testimony, flashed across my mind: âExit off the tram, see those huge white arches as I walk up Warwick Road, enter the ground, climb up a few flights of stairs, find my seat, and then do something that always baffles me; clap out the teams as they emerge from the tunnel, as if youâre thanking the highly paid people playing for the team of your choice just for turning up.â © MENSXP/Alshaar But despite a continuously intensifying grudge against how the club is being run, fans warmly welcomed the players onto the pitch. The game got off to a yawn-inducing start and all the frustration from watching United play on TV in the last few years started coming back to me. To make matters worse, the hosts went a goal behind by the 39th minute, after Chris Wood headed a free kick past David De Gea. Nothing much changed in the second half and the 56th minute saw Burnley double their lead this time via Jay Rodriguez. My dream debut in Old Trafford started feeling more and more anticlimactic. But we hang on till Fergie time, donât we? Turns out, we donât because a) the tram gets super cramped if you leave late b) the commitment of the current lot doesnât live up to the indomitable spirit of Sir Alex Fergusonâs legendary United sides. As I held back my tears and exited defeated, around the 80th minute mark, the turnout outside was astoundingly greater than what was left behind in the stadium. We would later learn that this was one of the most infamous walkouts in the recent history of the club and fans have in fact made a tradition of it since then. Most of us have had enough; and itâs not just about this one loss. The way the club has been run since the Glazer takeover is appalling â from transfers and wages to ownership and fund allocation. Sir Alex Ferguson had preserved the old guard, but since his departure in 2013, the widening cracks at Old Trafford have now become full-sized craters. The big quandary is that the Glazer family borrowed a load of money to buy Manchester United in 2004 and shifted debts to the tunes of a billion dollars within 15 years onto the club. Misery is compounded by United announcing record high revenues in the 2010s, which has not really translated into on-pitch success â raising glaring doubts about the ownersâ vision for a club with arguably the richest history in the PL. © MENSXP/Alshaar Gab Marcotti writes for ESPN: âThere's something doubly infuriating in knowing that even while you're suffering at your team's underachievement, the guys who own it and run it continue to cackle all the way to the bank. It's not that they don't necessarily care -- maybe they do, maybe they're fans too; they never speak, so we don't know -- it's just that you're left with the feeling that, however much it pains them to see United struggle on the pitch, when they put on their businessman hats, all that pain magically melts away.â Depressed and feeling an existential sense of defeat, I took the tram back and my day ended in complete contrast to how it had begun. The club that I grew up watching dominate all of Europe has been reduced to a laughing stock and distressingly because of non-footballing reasons. The cityI woke up early next morning to typically gloomy Manchester skies. A septuagenarian gent was making breakfast â atypical of the most such lodgings â a recipe for some interesting conversation. Michael Celle Clarke had spent his young years in Manchester and his rendezvous with the city had stayed with him. Over a cuppa, he shared stories that involved women, odd jobs and finances. Now settled, with grandchildren and great grandchildren, he still finds excuses to visit Manchester, âthe city that has seen so much and has given people so much.â © MENSXP/Alshaar So, what exactly is so special about this city? One of the better ways to find out was to sign up for a walking tour. Most such offerings are usually free â something that I absolutely love about European cities. The reception desk was handing out brochures for this one called the Free Manchester Walking Tour, which starts at 11 am from the Alan Turing Memorial in Sackville Park. On my way to the meeting point, I encountered this tiny, funny-named eatery called Pottyâs Kitchen, where a bunch of local construction workers were walking in and out of. Who knew you could get a fabulous full English breakfast for less than five pounds, with a bunch of pescetarian and vegan options. Quick note: having proper meals helps survive the cityâs windy weather, which suddenly started approaching zero-ish temperatures that morning. View this post on Instagram#Mcr #manchester #uk #2019 #stretphotography #travel #travellovers #love #welcome #home #keeptraveling #bee #documentaryphotography #gayvillage #alanturingA post shared by (@jose_marcilese_iglesias) A few smokes helped stay warm at the Turing Statue, before local lad Mike (25), another lifetime Manchester United supporter, from the Tour team greeted me, followed by around 10 more tourists, from Europe and South America. Aziz Ahammout from Lille was here for the previous nightâs game too, and has grown up supporting United from across borders like yours truly. Leeds-born Charlie Tatman also follows football and had even been to India (he fortuitously ended up playing a British officer in Aamir Khanâs Mangal Pandey: The Rising on the trip), before settling down with his wife and a set of twins. Czech student Laura, who resides in Poland currently, had been flatmates with Indians and of course proclaimed her love for curry with me. The three-hour tour began with a brief timeline of Manchester, through its multiple eras: of the Romans christening it Mamucium; of canals enabling it to become a global textile hub; of the bombing during the Second World War; of the abandonment of the textile mills and the subsequent rise of an underground music culture â notable Manchester musicians include The Smiths, The Verve, Oasis, The Red Army, Van der Graaf Generator among numerous others. Today, Manchester is the second most populous metropolitan area in the United Kingdom with more than three million people. The city bears unique distinctions for establishing a university in as early as the 1820s, producing around 25 Nobel laureates and a host of artists. Alan Turing, whose statue we met at, though remains the most controversially timeless figure. View this post on InstagramReminiscing about the Parade and our Deep Space Pride: A Future World of Equality theme at this year's Manchester Pride Festival! The Parade was by far the biggest to ever walk the streets of Manchester and we cannot thank you enough for coming to support the community, whether you walked with us in the Parade or encouraged us from the crowd! ðð And can we just talk about some of these outfits?! Incredible! #MPFestival2019A post shared by (@manchesterpride) His genius, biographed in Benedict Cumberbatchâs (another University of Manchester graduate) Imitation Games, lies in being the father of modern computing. Even more relevant is his life as one of the first openly gay public figures in the history of the Western world. Despite playing a crucial role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, Turing was prosecuted under Victorian anti-homosexuality laws and is said to have not received enough respect before a premature death (allegedly suicide), at the age of 41. After widespread internet campaigns, he was retrospectively pardoned in 2013 and even features on the new £50 note now. Turing remains an accurate representation of Manchesterâs contribution to liberalism through the ages. Apart from housing the countryâs oldest public library (since 1652), it has also been at the centre of labour right activism in the 1850s, which eventually led to the repeal of the infamous Corn Laws; it has been home to remarkable feminist movements in the 20th century; and it has constantly rallied behind free trade, pacifism and the separation of church and state. In fact, even great men like Abraham Lincoln have written to the âworking men of Manchesterâ for their anti-slavery stance. View this post on Instagramð¸ 2019 has brought us some fantastic photography and illustrations! Here are some of our best ones - which one is your favourite?A post shared by (@officialuom) After walking past the university, the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Town Hall, the Bridgewater Hall, the Rochdale Canal and the library, we finally ended up at the Exchange Square. It was here where, according to our guide Mike, the latest, most modern, era of Manchester was born. A bomb explosion (planted by Irish right-wing militants during the Euro Cup â96; Manchester was one of the host countries) caused devastating and largely irreversible damage, estimated by insurers at £700 million (equivalent to £1.3 billion in 2019). The detonation, according to locals, ripped the heart out of the city centre but remarkably no-one was killed. Contrastingly, the blast has been viewed by some as a 'catalyst' for starting the city's mass regeneration by attracting hundreds of millions worth of investment and resulting in above national average economic growth in the 20 years following the bombing. Manchester received about £583 million in private and public funding towards its regeneration that completely transformed the business sector, the growth of which could have otherwise been much slower. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester played proud host and set a worldwide example on how to get back on oneâs feet. View this post on InstagramNice + sunny in Manchester. âï¸A post shared by (@lucyygallagher) Goodbyes were said at this point, but the Man United supporters in the group â Mike, Aziz and I â stayed back and bitched about the previous night. Once Mike left to resume his dayâs routine, we ended up at Sinclairâs Oyester Bar, after a visit to the nearby National Football Museum. The rustic pub is located in one of the oldest buildings in the city, The Shambles. Usage of phones/electronics is strictly banned inside; an attendant is on the vigil at all times. But the upside â besides getting hammered for a mere £15 â is that you tend to initiate conversations with strangers. Manchester serves up to be the perfect city for this kind of socialising, especially if youâre a United fan. Aziz and I ended up befriending almost each table adjacent to ours despite heated debates over Ole Gunnar Solskjærâs future as the boss. Most of these men and women were locals, ranging from ages between 20 and 70. My acquaintance with the city, from two decades of supporting United, was validated by the open arms that the locals offered towards my devotion. It was at this point that I realised what knits the bond between the club and its overseas fans. © MENSXP/Alshaar My girlfriend, a distant observer of the sport, often asks why I donât support another club since Manchester United have been shit most of the 2010s? I couldnât offer a convincing response before visiting Manchester, but I can almost physically feel my connect with the city now. Itâs almost like a home away from home, and in its core value system, also resonates with my most fundamental beliefs in life. Thereâs another club in the city and why I donât support them would require another article. But as I munched on my last kebab before taking off for India, and made peace with the clubâs fall from grace, the city, like few others, didnât make me feel alone as a solo traveller anymore â and despite the heartbreaking recent performances of Manchester United, ensured that I return one day regardless. Although more new signings will help. View the full article
  9. For someone like me who has been crushing on Aditya Roy Kapur ever since he made his debut with London Dreams in 2009, it was nothing less than a surreal experience to finally have a hearty conversation with him. As it was destined, I finally got a chance to speak to Aditya because Mohit Suriâs Malang happened. © T-Series We have seen Aditya in movies like Aashiqui 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Ok Jaanu and everyone thought he was just cut out for romantic movies and he was, in fact, getting stereotyped as a romantic hero. But with Malang, we saw the birth of a very different Aditya - no more restrain or restricted to just having alcohol in the frames as this time, the Aditya we saw on screen was a merciless murderer and the one who can fit the part as an action hero. For me, Malang was all about Adityaâs 2.0 version. © T-Series When we started interacting, the very first thing I asked was about his transition from being lovelorn to this guy who commits cold-blooded murders in high-octane action sequences. He laughed and said, âThe transition, for me, was surely a new territory. I have been a part of this movie from the beginning when it was at the writing stage. Mohit and I have been in touch since its inception. Goa was a nice place for the film to be set at and I have spent my teenage years there. The younger portion of the movie resonated with my own experiences. The tricky part for me was actually to differentiate between who I really am and who the younger character in the movie is. I am playing someone who is similar to me but is still not me.â © T-Series âThe challenging part was to shift from the younger portions to straightway killing people. The physical part was indeed one aspect as Mohit wanted to make it very apparent that I look five years apart from the younger portions in the movie and the mental state has changed completely," he adds. Shedding more light on the transformation, he says, "Yes, it was physically challenging as we had less time but also mental makeup had to change too. It was tough but at the same time, it was enjoyable to experience this shift. The action was something that I have never tried and to create a hero who's like this was, in fact, worth the shot. Despite all the challenges at a few fronts in the movie, it was a thrilling experience.â View this post on InstagramðªA post shared by (@adityaroykapur) âI am definitely happy in a genre that I have wanted to do as I have grown up watching action movies," says Kapur. It can be quite risky for any actor who has been stereotyped earlier to break all the set notions about him. On this he said, "I think it's satisfying for me that people have accepted me in that whole action hero space because I had done only romantic movies and nothing remotely close to this genre." Malang indeed set Aditya apart and people have accepted him in this action space. "I think sometimes you need to show people a different side of you before they start seeing you a certain way. I can't blame people for seeing me as a guy who's cut out for romantic movies. It does feel good to finally try something different and I would love to do more of it,â he adds. View this post on InstagramMALANGA post shared by (@adityaroykapur) If you have seen Malang, you would know that Aditya sports two looks in the movie. âIt was definitely a task. I think getting leaner was hard. I have done it before as well so I had an idea. I had to cut down on my calories and keep it low. As we had long shooting hours, the challenge for me to have this much energy to get through the day," he says. And while in one of them he has a very lean frame, in the other he has really bulked up. Speaking on the same, he said, "I was maintaining a low-carb diet and then, I had to start building muscles which I have never done as I have never got bulky before. I had to be on a protein diet and lift a lot of weights. I wasn't getting enough sleep because we were shooting 12 to 14 hours a day. Well, there was no two ways about it as the film required me to have this body." It might look easy, but itâs not actually the case when you have to achieve both the looks in such a short time. "I told myself that I am in some sort of boot camp for three to four months. Going to the gym and then to sets, Malang became like more of a lifestyle but that made me more and more close to the character. I had no life except for Malang and that's why it became such an intense experience,â shared Aditya. View this post on InstagramMy crazy Malang journey as Advait! #MalangInCinemas @anilskapoor @dishapatani @khemster2 @mohitsuri #LuvRanjan @gargankur82 @bhushankumar @jayshewakramani @luv_films @tseries.official @tseriesfilms @malangfilmA post shared by (@adityaroykapur) When he told me about his hectic schedule, I was all praises for him and thatâs when he said, âFor me, it becomes more of an escape because it takes you from the mundane things of everyday life. I love being on sets.â I have closely followed Adityaâs journey. He has seen highs and lows, hits and flops and received both appreciation and brickbats for his performances. After a few movies, there was a dull patch for him and I asked him if he thinks Malang is a breakthrough movie as it opened new doors for him as an actor. View this post on InstagramYeh #Malang ka khel aur bhi khatarnak hoga, in cinemas 7th Feb.. #Malang #7FebWithMalang #6DaysForMalang @anilskapoor @dishapatani @khemster2 @mohitsuri #LuvRanjan @gargankur82 @bhushankumar @jayshewakramani @luv_films @tseries.official @tseriesfilms @malangfilmA post shared by (@adityaroykapur) âI think it's a breakthrough in terms of me being accepted in this genre. It's something very heartening for me to see that people have loved my 'acting' avatar. It has opened new horizons and doors for me. It has definitely widened the scope for me as an actor,â Aditya agreed. Malang was definitely a physically challenging project but somewhere, it felt it was emotionally exhausting too. I, then, asked him if thereâs was a moment when he had a breakdown and was at a place where he ever wanted to completely give up. âI never got to the level that I wanted to give up completely. Every character has justifications as to why he is doing what he is doing. It can be emotionally and physically draining but it's fun because you get to do something that you won't ever do in your real life,â he said I have been curious to know what an actor thinks before he gives his nod to a project. âI think first and foremost, it's about liking the story and if it resonates with you. I feel just to like the role isn't enough as people need to like the movie as a whole," highlights Aditya. "Secondly, it's about the kind of role I am getting to play. It's definitely first the story and then the character,â he went on to add. He started out as a VJ for Channel V and eventually made his debut as an actor. And to see him live his dream and carry it forward gives me immense joy too. Before we both ended our conversation, I wanted him to reflect on his journey. âI don't tend to look back too often but it has been quite a ride from who grew up never wanting to be an actor to being a VJ. I actually started loving my job as a VJ, then getting into acting and now even trying action, it somehow feels like it was destined. It's like I haven't chosen this path but it has chosen me in a funny way. Things have come my way and I happened to stumble across one and then on to others. After my first two or three movies, I realized that acting is something I really enjoyed doing and ever since then, I haven't planned or crafted out a career or a strong game plan. This is something I love doing and it wasn't the case when I was starting it. It's the journey of realizing my calling while being a part of it. Now, I am sure I want this and I want to keep experimenting as an actor,â Aditya shared. View the full article
  10. In a case that has recently sent shockwaves through the country, anti-terror cop Davinder Singh was arrested on January 11, along with two terrorists - that he was allegedly accompanying out of Kashmir for a possible terror strike. While the arrest implies a broader picture of shady, illicit networks of power particularly in the Indian Army - it also demands revisiting Singh's storied and very publicised career as a police officer, and particularly his involvement with 2001's Afzal Guru incident. Here's a quick lowdown on Singh's career across the last twenty-odd years. 1. The Early Years - 1962 to 1994 © Wikimedia/Gowar Wani Born in 1962, Davinder Singh has had a long and complex history with Kashmir. He comes from Tral - a small town in Kashmir's Pulwama district that coincidentally happens to be where Hizbul Mujahideen ex-Commander, Burhan Wani is from. It was, and currently is one of the region's major hotbeds for militancy. © Reuters Singh spent his college years at Amar Singh College - one of the state's oldest institutes - after which he joined the police force as a sub-inspector back in 1994. 2. Singh's Rise And Fall - 1995 to 2000 © Reuters During this period, Kashmir suffered from serious insurgency threats, primarily from organisations such as the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. Throughout the mid-late 90s, Singh rose through the ranks of J&K's counterinsurgency wing, and operated out of Srinagar, eventually joining the Special Operations Group, or SOG. It's said that early on, Singh displayed a great deal of distinction and valour in his work. A CRPF officer recalls how DSP Davinder Singh had bravely fought in an encounter in North Kashmir's Sopore area in the late 1990s - even taking a hit to his leg during an operation in Budgam, just 11 km away from Srinagar. Appreciated by his superiors, he was promoted to the position of Inspector during the late 90s. The red flags began to show up, eventually. One of Singh's earliest efforts at playing the system involved a drug-peddler smuggling charas out of the region. After nabbing him, Singh then went on to sell the contraband instead of turning it over to the authorities. There were also stories of extortion, and a bizarre case where Singh carjacked a truck containing timber, which belonged to a relative of former CM, Ghulam Mohideen Shah, as per the reports. While these reports made their way around the J&K Police, little action was taken against Singh. Officials were quoted saying, "It is Davinder Singh's track record in counter-terror operation, which got him immunity. Several inquiries followed no action." It was only a matter of time before Singh eventually got involved with terror groups. 3. The Afzal Guru Case - 2000-2001 © Reuters After his experiences as a key inspector in the SOG, Singh developed a reputation for what he described as "torture, interrogation and breaking suspects". In 2000, he managed to get his hands on Afzal Guru, a former militant who was tortured and interrogated at Singh's camp for several days. Singh himself admitted in a 2006 interview that he “poured petrol in his arse and gave him electric shocks,” but Guru did not end up revealing any information. In a letter published several years later, Guru claimed that he was only let go after his family paid the cop a sum of Rs. 80,000. The following year, Singh was demoted and transferred to state intelligence from the SOG - a move that happened in the wake of custodial deaths under his command, and a track record of torturing civilians. Within a year, the infamous Parliament terror attack took place. © Reuters; Indian Army soldiers patrol around the capital's Parliament House, days after a suicide attack by terrorists claimed the lives of 11 guardsmen on 13th December, 2001.] Afzal Guru explained how in 2001, he was contacted by Singh to carry out a "job" - which involved ferrying a man named Mohammed into Delhi and providing him with rented accomodation. It so turned out that this Mohammed was, in fact, one of the terrorists taking part in the attack. Eventually, Guru was tracked down and arrested in Srinagar, sentenced to death and was hanged in secret in 2013 - a move that drew massive controversy from human rights groups across the world. Guru's claims against Singh were ignored by the authorities, and Singh continued to roam freely despite an incredibly serious accusation - even if it came from a terror accused. Despite his record, he was selected for a UN Peacekeeping effort in Kosovo, and was eventually promoted to Deputy Superintendent of Police by 2006. 4. The Pulwama Connection - 2017-2019 © Reuters One of the major probes currently involving Singh is his connection with militants in Pulwama. Back in August 2017, the cop was involved in an encounter where three terrorists engaged in a 19-hour skirmish with a joint force of CRPF and Kashmir Police units. A total of eight men were killed, and for his voluntary participation in squad, Singh was awarded the Sher-E-Kashmir medal - the state police's highest gallantry award. India Today has claimed their sources suggested that Singh was aware of the attacks beforehand and there was definite cause for suspicion. Recently, the INC had suggested that Singh might have had something to do with the suicide-bomb that killed 40 CRPF troops in early 2019. While Singh was removed from his post in the region earlier in 2018, we're yet to see what Singh's investigation will reveal. All of which brings us up to speed on Singh's public record - until he ran out of luck this January. Kashmir's Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar has slammed Singh for “heinous crimes” and has suggested that Singh will be subjected to the same fate he dealt out to suspected militants back when he worked as a counterinsurgency cop. “He is being treated on par with the militants and has been properly arrested, (and) has been brought under remand and his interrogation is on,” explained the IGP. View the full article
  11. Let's just agree on the fact that there are indeed a lot of good looking men in Bollywood right now. Let's also agree on another fact, with no offence to any of them, that Hrithik Roshan is a league apart, and no one can touch him when it comes to that. Let's not even get to the charm and the dancing talent. Hrithik probably decided that all of this was not enough, so he must now conquer B-Town in the fashion domain too. His latest appearance at the airport testifies just that. © Viral Bhayani Hrithik was spotted at the airport in an outfit that straight-up reminded us of the cosmopolitan swag of Rohan from K3G. The black leather jacket coupled with the black sunnies and the playful cap oozed style from every angle. © Viral Bhayani However, what stole our attention was his footwear. © Viral Bhayani © Viral Bhayani Hrithik wore an insane pair of black high boots that not only complements his outfit perfectly, it also strikes a balance between sophisticated street style and the zany retro aesthetic. © Viral Bhayani The overall black theme of his travel-friendly ensemble, including those pants and the backpack, is versatile enough for brunching on a chilly afternoon as well as hitting the club post-dinner. © Viral Bhayani We totally dig it, Hrithik! We wish you a happy (and fashionable) new year. View the full article
  12. Arjun Kapoor reflects on his Bollywood journey. Photo: Times of IndiaArjun Kapoor recently won the hearts of his fans with an Instagram post he penned down reflecting on his Bollywood journey thus far. The star made his debut in the industry back in 2012 with the film Ishaqzaade and with new years fast approaching, the star took his own trip down memory lane, looking back at his personal and professional accomplishments. He wrote, , “2019 you taught me well... reminded me what a roller coaster life is... I travelled I lived I laughed I cried... I had some amazing moments, had some that broke my heart... personally, I’m excited about entering the new decade... at the start of 2010 I was a nobody unknown to the world with no real opportunity lying in front of me... today as we close the decade I’m shooting my 14th film.” He went onto say, "Lots of ups some downs gained an identity lost my backbone in my Mother & Nani forever. Life is a roller coaster we just gotta ride it..." He concluded his message with a bout of encouragement for his fans. "I say this to anyone reading this right now... never give up never listen to the naysayers believe in yourself believe that u are meant to do what makes u happy... there are enough forces to pull u down everyday trust me I have seen and felt it but to rise from there by exceeding what everyone thinks of u because u believed in yourself is an unbelievable feeling... when The Underdog wins it’s always a story worth telling..." He also wished his fans have an incredible New Year, "happy new year to all of you who love me & maybe who don’t... follow your dreams this decade... u never know what the future holds for u or any of us... big love"
  13. Starting from being a nobody in the industry to winning the hearts of millions, Kartik Aaryan has come a long way and has carved a niche for himself by entertaining masses with his stellar performances on the silver screen. However, it wasn't a cakewalk for the small-town boy who arrived in the city of dreams to live the life he had dreamt of. When you have no connections and are an outsider, it's altogether a different game as it's not easy to get in. In an interaction with the Instagram page Humans of Bombay, the actor revealed how he struggled to fame while trying for luck in auditions, where he faced rejection quite frequently. © Panorama Studios "I got projects like a few seconds in an ad & they kept me going. Eventually, I rented a flat in Andheri with 12 boys. I had limited finances. I couldn't even afford a portfolio—I'd crop my face out of group photos to send to agents! All the while I'd skip college to give auditions & my parents didn't know about any of this. Once I saw an ad for a film audition & decided to go for it. They liked me & auditioned me many times. My final audition script was the monologue that then became my identity! Finally, when I got the role, I was at Andheri station & immediately called my mom! She couldn't believe it,” Aaryan said in the post. He further added, “After 2 & a half years of struggle, what I had imagined as a possibility, was now a reality. After Pyaar Ka Punchama, there still weren't many opportunities. I stayed in the same flat with 12 boys till my third film! At the time, my mom was adamant I finish my degree, so while shooting, I gave my exams—& people in the exam hall were clicking photos with me! But I understood that she wanted my future to be secure.” View this post on Instagram “I was born in the small town of Gwalior. My parents were in the medical field & I was going to do engineering. But in 9th grade, I saw Baazigar & I knew I wanted to be on the other side of the screen. I was unsure of my parents' reaction—so I decided to study till 12th in Gwalior & then go to college in Mumbai. Luckily I got into a college in Navi Mumbai. I stayed in a hostel & searched for auditions. I had no contacts, so I'd type keywords like, 'Actor Needed' on Facebook. I'd travel for 6 hours 3-4 times a week for auditions. At times, I'd be rejected from outside the studio because I didn't 'look the part'. But I still had hope. Soon I got projects like a few seconds in an ad & they kept me going. Eventually I rented a flat in Andheri with 12 boys. I had limited finances. I couldn't even afford a portfolio—I'd crop my face out of group photos to send to agents! All the while I'd skip college to give auditions & my parents didn't know about any of this. Once I saw an ad for a film audition & decided to go for it. They liked me & auditioned me many times. My final audition script was the monologue that then became my identity! Finally, when I got the role, I was at Andheri station & immediately called my mom! She couldn't believe it! After 2 & a half years of struggle, what I had imagined as a possibility, was now a reality. After Pyaar Ka Punchama, there still weren't many opportunities. I stayed in the same flat with 12 boys till my third film! At the time, my mom was adamant I finish my degree, so while shooting, I gave my exams—& people in the exam hall were clicking photos with me! But I understood that she wanted my future to be secure. After Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, it all changed! Life has come full circle now—recently when I was in Gwalior, I was invited to my school as chief guest & kids were chanting my name! It was surreal! But what I have today, would've never come my way, if I hadn't believed that I'd make it. I'm grateful for where I am & I know I have a long way to go. Sometimes all of it still feels unbelievable—from this point on, the possibilities just seem endless & my dreams, are just waiting to come true.” A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on Dec 2, 2019 at 4:54am PST “After Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, it all changed! Life has come full circle now—recently, when I was in Gwalior, I was invited to my school as chief guest & kids were chanting my name! It was surreal! But what I have today, would've never come my way, if I hadn't believed that I'd make it. I'm grateful for where I am & I know I have a long way to go. Sometimes all of it still feels unbelievable—from this point on, the possibilities just seem endless & my dreams, are just waiting to come true,” the post concluded. © T-Series After reading the post, we can surely say that his journey can inspire many struggling artists who are thriving hard to finally make it big. The idea is to just keep trying until you finally reach the destination that you have set for yourself. On the professional front, Kartik is all set to star in the Hindi remake of Pati Patni Aur Woh alongside Ananya Panday and Bhumi Pednekar. Apart from that, Kartik will also be seen in Imtiaz Ali's untitled next, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Dostana 2. View the full article
  14. Ever wondered why they call it a fitness 'journey'? The obvious answer to it may be because we can't get that dream body overnight. But in all honesty, we all know there is more to it than meets the eye. And this journey, is in many ways, testing and teasing like all the others, and it is as much to do with a healthy 'body image' as it is to do with a healthy body. © Getty Images However, it would be a lie to call this journey regular, because it is certainly not and will never be. The journey to fitness is marked by many challenges, which are physical as well as psychological. The very decision to kickstart a fitness journey deserves many accolades in itself, and then comes in the constant battle we fight with ourselves over shedding those extra kilos and squeezing in another hour of sleep instead. From the dietary adjustments, to other long term compromises we are expected to make and a myriad of other miscellaneous things we are expected to abide by, makes this journey a real struggle. © Getty Images But then there exist some people who show us the real face of a fitness journey at their own expense, and it seems so true, every Indian guy would come to relate to it. Using Arjun Kapoor and weight loss in the same sentence may provoke a lot of you to break into laughter. But, can we spare a moment to consider that every “weight loss journey” is different from the last one you came across? That every individual who is on this journey is making a lot of effort to stop making excuses and charge towards a healthier body. © Twitter Well, if you are looking for an example to guide you on your own journey to a fitter you, then that's the man you should look out for. His isn't the most glitzy fat-to-fab story, it definitely doesn't make for a perfect example of a fitness journey either, and that is exactly what that makes Arjun's journey more real, more believable and therefore more inspiring. We witnessed Arjun Kapoor's drastic body transformation for his debut movie 'Ishaqzaade' back in 2012. When, as an aspiring actor, Arjun weighed 140 kgs, the dream of being a Bollywood actor seemed too far-fetched for him. But it was reportedly during his time as an assistant director for Nikkhil Advani's 2007 film 'Salaam-E-Ishq', that Salman Khan inspired him to lose weight, after which Salman allegedly also supervised Arjun's training sessions. Over the next three years, Arjun lost close to 50 kg before his big launch. © Instagram But hours ago, Arjun revealed his fitness journey over the years, and how his struggles with obesity have been a constant in his life since he was a child. Owing to many mental and personal reasons that always came in his way one way or another, Arjun has constantly battled with the weighing scale over the years. But nothing could make him give it all up, not when he knew what he is capable of. Read about his journey here. View this post on Instagram It's been a tough journey for me ever since I was a kid when it comes to my battle with obesity. Everyone has their own struggles I have had and continue to have mine. But the whole point of life is that we fall, we get back up and try again... efforts will pay off eventually if not today then in a week month or even a year... I started training with @shivohamofficial this January and slow and steady we have managed to At least lay a foundation during our prep for Panipat. I vowed never to give up in the 3 years it took me to lose 50kgs when I was 20 years old & I sure as hell won't be giving up and letting go now... keeping the belief is key, u gotta keep at it and one day you will reap the benefits... we all gotta keep the faith and keep at it cause what we do today will echo in time and reflect within us eventually... A post shared by Arjun Kapoor (@arjunkapoor) on Jun 17, 2019 at 11:18pm PDT Arjun's earnest and honest ways of always being candid about his weight issues and how he struggles and deals with it, is something most of us will relate to. Getting those 6-pack-abs and chiselled face comes at a cost, but how many people have been completely honest about their backstories, instead of posting daily gym selfies with sappy 'motivational' one-liners? © Instagram But, this guy here, brings forth the real story, and it will do us good to acknowledge it that while we are trying to get fit, it's okay to chase after it at the cost of your mental peace and happiness in general. The idea is to have a healthy body, that's the goal we are after.
  15. Jofra Archer was one of the mainstays in the Rajasthan Royals team that took the field in IPL 2019. Economical and dangerous, he was one of the best young bowlers in the competition and vital to the bowling lineup of the Royals and he has now rapidly become one of the most sought-after all-rounders in white-ball cricket. Born in Barbados to an English father, he knew very early that England was the nation he wanted to represent in international cricket. Taking advantage of his British passport, he had a successful spell at Sussex as well as T20 leagues all over the world, before getting the call-up to the Royals team in 2018. Archer has made giant strides and has become one of the most sought-after all-rounders in English county cricket, where he represents Sussex. He has made 1003 runs in 28 first-class matches at an average of 31.34 and strike rate of 71.33. He is a dangerous lower-order batsman capable of hitting the long ball as his LIST-A and T20 strike rates of 121.51 and 140.74 suggest. His wicket-taking prowess is further highlighted by his strike rate in LIST-A cricket (35.9) and T20 cricket (17.3). © Reuters His effectiveness was on display in his first ODI series against Pakistan as well as Ireland, in the run-up to the World Cup, as he showed he had what it takes to perform at the international stage. His callup to the England squad for the World Cup became a huge talking point among English cricket fans in the runup to the tournament, and it happened at the very last minute, in circumstances that seemed tailored just for him. Not long after he had been a British citizen for just three years, the English Cricket Board announced a dramatic change in the qualification criteria for selection to the national squad in March 2019. The previous requirement asked for seven-year citizenship to be available for selection but Archer's three years are now adequate for qualification. @cricketworldcup TWO IN TWO! Archer is on a hat-trick, as Cottrell walks back. pic.twitter.com/Gyvjq4mhP1 — Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 14, 2019 In England's match against the West Indies, his native land, Archer was part of the opening spell and was instrumental in bowling the Windies out for a measly total of 212 through a spell of 3 wickets for 30 runs in 9 overs. England are ranked no1 in ODIs as per ICC Rankings and as hosts they, along with Team India, are the hot favourites to lift the ICC World Cup 2019 Trophy. As they prepare their bid to lift the trophy, Archer has established himself as a mainstay in the team, and his journey has been no less than a fairytale.
  16. The Indian cricket team began their ICC World Cup 2019 journey on a high with a brilliant and a tactically sound victory against Faf du Plessis' South African team, handing them their third straight loss of the tournament and spoiling it for them even further. Led by an extremely lucky Rohit Sharma who managed to score his 23rd ODI ton while being dropped by the Proteas fielders on numerous occasions, Team India was able to get this victory with extreme ease and comfort. However, ahead of the match, while the Men in Blue were getting a lot of messages of good luck and positivity, there was one message in particular that caught our attention: YOU CAN DO IT! #WWEChampion @TrueKofi wishes @imVkohli, @msdhoni and the entire #TeamIndia all the luck and positivity! @ICC #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/ASGVgGYsqF — WWE (@WWEIndia) June 5, 2019 Well, it seems as if the WWE superstar and champion Kofi Kingston is a fan of Indian cricket and is rooting for Virat Kohli's Team India during the Cricket World Cup 2019 in England. “What's going on y'all, it is your WWE champion Kofi Kingston here with a very important message for the 'boy in blues',” said the athlete. “Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni and the rest of Team India, I want to wish you guys the utmost luck in the ICC cricket cup...” Kingston knows a thing or two about positivity. As a member of one of the most successful trios in WWE history, The New Day member put his body on the line every week in order to entertain his fans without complaining about the lack of opportunity for the greatest title in wrestling entertainment, he had experienced for more than five years. And then finally, when the opportunity presented itself to the in-ring performer, Kingston capitalised on it and became the WWE Champion by defeating Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 35 to fulfil his dream. Kingston's narrative resembles that of the Bleed Blue team who, with all their potential and qualities were waiting for the opportunity to win the cricket world championship for their nation for the third time and now that they have the opportunity to do so, are ready to capitalise. Indian fans of wrestling and cricket got to Twitter to reply to the 37-year-old high-flyer: Thank you ð𤠗 Shena brar (@imshena_) June 6, 2019 We did it in the first game..ðð®ð³ð®ð³ð — Abhishek (@abhi3627) June 5, 2019 We did it. — Vivek singh (@Singh_viveksi) June 5, 2019 We did it. — Vivek singh (@Singh_viveksi) June 5, 2019
  17. "When I had moved to Mumbai for the first time with big Bollywood dreams, it was Bhaiya who asked me to move back. He said I wasn't ready. To be honest, that perhaps was the best advice anyone could have given me at the time..." quips Aparshakti, with unparalleled candour, while talking about his unique relationship with his elder brother Ayushmann, and the chemistry they share. © MensXP The fact that Aparshakti is the younger brother of the one and only Ayushmann Khurrana, came to the mainstream consciousness much later, when he already had carved a niche for himself as a rock-solid 'supporting actor', another topic he deals with maturity, with a side of unapologetic practicality and humility, reflected on his spirited countenance. © MensXP "What is wrong with being a supporting actor? I have never understood the side-eye supporting actors receive in the industry. If you are an actor who is true to his craft, you will take up every role as the role of a lifetime. I have played the role of a supporting actor in 7 different films, and given a choice, I won't change a thing!". As he moves on to the much-deserved mainstream stardom now, Aparshakti still looks at all the roles he has played with utmost reverence and fondness, something which is a rarity within the B-Town glam and glitz. © MensXP Aparshakti is wearing: Denim Dhoti - Nicobar, Denim Sherwani - Zara, Footwear - Gucci, Eyewear - Vedi Vero @kapooropticalco On being asked about how it felt, to have been handed supporting roles, despite being the sibling of an A-lister, Aparshakti was quick to dismiss the question. "I count it as a blessing. I honestly do. Having played so many roles as a supporting actor, I now feel like I am finally ready. It prepares you, it makes you realize the value of the place at the top, and most importantly, it teaches you lessons which no acting class can teach." In an industry supposedly rife with nepotism, the fact that Ayushmann never used his stature to create a platform for his own brother, is something Aparshakti is thankful for, because that singularly made sure that the success he has achieved over time, is anything but ephemeral. © MensXP Aparshakti is wearing: Jacket - Bershka, Lowers - DNA, Shoes - Off-white, Eyewear - Gucci @kapooropticalco, Watch - Gucci "One thing I shall always remember, is a line Bhaiya told me about Mumbai. When he told me to go back and prepare better, he ended the conversation with a line: 'Yeh shehar khud bulaata hai' (This city calls you itself)." While most A-listers advise their relatives to go to the gym and work on their appearance and fashion sense before their Bollywood debut, Aparshakti fondly remembers Ayushmann giving him a no-nonsense piece of advice, that ultimately proved to be life-changing for him. "He told me to actively pursue acting in the theater for 4-5 years. He told me acting is an art and a craft, and requires training and practice, just like any other art form. Thank God he was wise enough to give me the advice, and I took it seriously." © MensXP "But how did it all start? Did you always want to become an actor? What's the story?" "I honestly have no idea how or when. I recall one incidence from my school days, that helped my self-confidence skyrocket. When I was in the 9th standard, there used to be a trophy of sorts for the 'best student' of the batch, and their name used to be published in the newspaper. I was a pretty average student, you know, when it came to academics. However, I used to be good with my extracurricular activities - sports, drama, music etc., which ensured that I won a lot of prizes and trophies. The Principal of the school used to take a call on who to choose as the best student, and to my shock, my Principal, Rajni Thareja Ma'am, chose me. I later heard that she was questioned by everyone about her seemingly odd choice, in response to which she took them to the staff room, and pointed towards all the trophies I had won in extra-curriculars. 'He's a special kid' - she had said. Till date, I am grateful to her." © MensXP "Also, I did not know what I wanted for a long time, and honestly just went with the flow. I studied Law for 5 years and got my LLB degree. In fact, I worked at the Delhi High Court for a while, can you imagine? I also worked as a Radio Jockey for quite some time, and it was way after that, I started thinking about doing more with my life. The acting bug finally bit me, and then started a whole new phase of preparation, which perhaps taught me more about life than anything else. I had to face everything a newcomer faces in the industry, and I had to work my way up. There was no other way, and I'm glad it was the way it was, because it made me a stronger person, in ways I had not fathomed earlier." © MensXP Aparshakti is wearing: Outfit - SixPM, Eyewear - Carrera, @kapooropticalco, Wrist Band - Louis Vuitton, Shoes - Dolce & Gabbana, Trolley - Rimowa @Off-white On being asked about how the family dynamics are at home, Aparshakti candidly chuckles. "It's as normal and desi as it gets. I believe both Bhaiya and I get our strict work ethics from our father, and I wish to achieve the patience levels of mom, but I don't think I can ever reach there. She is the most patient, graceful, calm, and composed person I have ever met in my life. Bhaiya gets it from her." © MensXP Aparshakti is quick to point out, however, that he also grew up with the same set of struggles every Indian youngster faces. "I was working as a Radio Jockey, and I was fairly successful. I was doing well, and was financially secure too. Even then, there were relatives and neighbours who would unapologetically throw the annoying question: Lekin beta, kaam kya karte ho?", he sighs, before bursting out in a bout of dismissive laughter. © MensXP "What makes you happy?" "My work makes me happy, of course. But other than that, I'd say seemingly small, insignificant things, that perhaps others won't get. 'Alone time' is important to me. I love listening to my favourite music while driving... it gives me such immense joy, that is not describable. Also, football. You know, not a lot of things can match up to the the boundless joy of playing an intense match of football on a green field, wet and slippery with heavy rainfall. It is just therapeutic. You end up feeling fresh, instead of being tired. I still enjoy it as much as I did during my teenage years. Also, some quality time with my loved ones and my family never fails to cheer me up...!", he smiles. © MensXP "The trick to be happy, and I really believe that, is to count your blessings every day. Everyone has something to be grateful for, and the moment you realize that perhaps not everyone is fortunate enough to have what you have, happiness just... happens. That gratitude is what keeps me going, on days that are particularly taxing. But I'm happy! I feel life has just started for me, and I can't wait to find out what's next!", he signs off with a faint smile, radiant with gratitude, as he gingerly holds another prestigious award, the 'Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award' for the 'Comic Performance of The Year' to be precise, for 'Stree'. © MensXP Aparshakti is wearing: Denim Short Kurta - Boheco, Jeans - Zara, Footwear - Artimen, Eyewear - Irresistor @kapooropticalco As he moves on to 'greener pastures' now, so to say, with lead/parallel lead roles, he is ready - with experience, validation for his hard work, and most importantly, the unconditional love of the audience that constantly craves for honest, heartfelt performances coupled with raw talent, which is his USP. All we can say is, we wish him all the luck for his upcoming projects, not that he needs any, as he has been proving with every single project, right from the day the city of dreams finally welcomed him with open arms, as his brother had once wisely predicted. Photographer: Subi Samuel Stylist: Jay Samuel Assistant Stylist: Piyu Mishra
  18. After a long time, two Indians will be working alongside at the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters. After Shashank Manohar being elected as President of the ICC, Manu Sawhney has been announced as the Chief Executive Officer of the ICC with immediate effect. For the past two months, Sawhney has been working alongside outgoing CEO, David Richardson to ensure a smooth transition for the organisation. Richardson will remain with the ICC until July, as originally planned, to oversee the delivery of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 to be held in the United Kingdom later this year. Sawhney, a graduate from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India, was with ESPN Star Sports for seventeen years. During his tenure as Managing Director, he was responsible for scaling the business and doubling the annual revenues whilst delivering innovative content and digital growth strategy. He also built strong partnerships with stakeholders across 24 countries in Asia, according to reports. © Sportswire Additionally, he led the global broadcast partnership deal with the ICC that ran from 2007-2015. He is also a non-executive director and member of the Audit Committee of Manchester United Ltd. Being grateful for the position, Manu said: “I am excited by the opportunities ahead and I am looking forward to working in partnership with our Members, partners and staff to ambitiously accelerate the global growth of the game. Technology, engagement, women's cricket and driving greater value are key focus areas for us as we consider how we can innovate to transform the sport's long-term future and create a vibrant and sustainable sport globally.” He has paved the path for Indians to reach the apex of the international sport off the field and is set to inspire many youngsters growing up. Let us know your thoughts on his inspirational journey in the comments section.
  19. Every day, people are still searching on the internet the best fat burners on the planet and are ready to shell any amount of money on falsely marketed pills as they promise magic. Fat burners, which were earlier used only by professional athletes, have become common even with beginners in the gym. Not only is this trend stupid and pointless but you are not going to achieve any results out of it except an empty pocket. So, before you think of taking any shortcut in your fitness journey let me give you a single tool that will help you more than any fat burner or a magic pill out there. Start Tracking Your Nutrition This may sound trivial, but trust me it makes a huge difference when it comes to results. I am not saying this based on just my own experience but I have noticed this working on my clients as well. While you may think that you are on low carb and high protein diet, but if you are not tracking your calorie and macro intake, there are chances that you might be consuming more than your target calories. Tracking your food intake gives you a precise calculation of how your body is responding to varying levels of carb and overall calorie intake. This, in turn, will help you in making a smart decision as to how much can you play around with your calories and macros. Fun Fact 1: It Is Backed By Science This phenomenon of tracking calories has been subjected to studies as well and studies do show a positive impact on the results as well. A study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute established that people who regularly tracked their macro intake were able to lose twice more weight than people who did not. Fun Fact 2: It Helps In Portion Control When you update your food diary daily, you can measure the number of calories you have consumed in every single meal of the day. While some meals might be absolutely healthy but there are chances that you may be consuming a larger portion of it. Even if the meal is healthy, you can't just binge on it and expect that it will not have an impact on the overall calculations. Once you start tracking your meals, it will help you to identify if the portion size of the meal that you were consuming is within your target area or not. For example, a meal comprising of Kidney beans and brown rice would be an ideal choice for lunch but that doesn't mean that you can have 'n' number of portions of the same every day. It Will Help You Connect The Dots There are small food items that you consume throughout the day but they often get unnoticed while you make your diet program. These include multiple cups of tea and coffee, biscuits, namkeen, sugary drinks, flavoured energy drinks, artificially flavoured juices etc. While you may think that they may not make any difference but once you start tracking them you may notice that that's not the case. Sometimes these small snacking items contribute a significant addition to your total calorie intake which may slow down your health and fitness progress. Anuj Tyagi, author of this article, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist from American Council on Exercise (ACE). Now an Online Health Coach, he is also a Chartered Accountant by education. You can connect with him through Instagram on:- https://www.instagram.com/sixpacktummy_anuj/
  20. Ever since the glamorous Indian Premier League (IPL) came into existence, it has put numerous, extremely talented players on the map. These were the cricketers who didn't play international or first class cricket due to the lack of opportunities but were in no manner less deserving of making a great living out of the game they loved so passionately. The league has experienced a series of changes as the years have passed. Some of the older teams have become extinct while new franchises have replaced them in seamless transitions. Having said that, there exists a franchise which is not only one of the strongest pillars of the edifice IPL has now become but has also gone on to win the entire tournament thrice - the Mumbai Indians (MI). Sleepless nights? Nervous nail biting? Screaming at your screen? If you've experienced any or all of these symptoms you might have Cricket Fever, premieres 1st March. pic.twitter.com/Ujl1tq6Els — Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) February 5, 2019 The upcoming Netflix eight-episode docu-series titled 'Cricket Fever: Mumbai Indians' gets into MI's journey through the 2018 season of IPL between the pre-season auction and the final of the year against the Delhi Daredevils (now, Delhi Capitals). Joe LaBracio, the Executive Vice President of Non-Fiction TV & Documentaries, Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE), the studio that produced the series, said: "Our love of India drew us to share the story of the second biggest sport in the world and make it an entertaining, engaging experience for non-cricket fans to also enjoy." What To Expect From The Series Being coached by one of the legends of the international cricket in Mahela Jayawardene for a competitive owner in Akash Ambani, a great story in terms of the locker room situation during the wins, losses and major injuries during the season, and behind-the-scenes footage can be expected from the docuseries. The series also promises to dive deep into the history of some of the most celebrated MI players. The inception of Rohit Sharma's ability to captain, Krunal and Hardik Pandya's struggles growing up in Surat and Jasprit Bumrah's story to becoming one of the top pacers in the world, CNE plans to cover every minor aspect of the MIPaltan's members in great detail. Watching the emotional journey of the three-time champions and its players, staff and owners that goes beyond the cricket field would most definitely be an unprecedented experience with the first of its kind Indian sports docu-series. 'Cricket Fever: Mumbai Indians' will launch on Netflix worldwide on 1st March 2019.
  21. Sometimes, we fool ourselves into believing that we something we are not. We define our own limits, just because we have always been a certain way. That was me a few years back. All that mattered to me was academics, and exercise and proper nutrition were just not a part of my world. I spent the first 20 years of my life being a kid who gave absolutely zero importance to fitness. Physics, Chemistry and Maths were my protein, carbs and fats. My Savior – Junk Food! Age 20, I find myself studying Computer Science in IIT-BHU. To be honest, at this point, I had nothing in my life that stirred an ounce of excitement in me. Around this time, I also got somewhat depressed. Needless to say, I had shitty eating habits. I'd eat anything that I felt like, whenever I felt like, and in whatever amounts I felt like. Motivation from Jacked Guys I really envied guys in my college with good physiques. They had abs and chiselled chests. I, on the other hand, was totally out of shape and had a belly, which I never really liked. Hell, I wanted a “good body” too! It was something I found myself getting excited to work for! So, I started going to the gym. I goofed around in and out of the gym for 18 months, just showing up fairly consistently and hoping to get “fit https://www.mensxp.com/health/body-building/48916-5-easy-ways-to-get-fit-without-going-to-the-gym.html ”. I had no knowledge of nutrition and training. My diet was totally random. I used to think that going to the gym and “working out hard”, alone was enough to build my dream physique. And no one around me told me any better. After all, they must call it “fat burning workouts” for a reason, right? Wrong. Sick and tired of getting nowhere, I started studying the work of top experts in the fitness field. The likes of Dr Eric Helms, Dr Brad Schoenfeld and Dr Alan Aragon. And it blew my mind! I spent endless hours researching information on the subject. I was loving it. It was all making sense now, and I wondered why there were so many misconstrued notions around fitness. I realized the irreplaceable role of diet and laughed at all the time I waste fooling around in the gym. Meal Preparation I started preparing my own meals instead of eating in the college mess. I applied whatever I learned into my own life, and I started seeing results in no time. I was so excited at this point in my life. I had never been more disciplined and bodybuilding had come to become my burning obsession. My life changed completely. I realised how important is it to read and study the work of successful people in whatever area you want to be successful in. Advice to Everyone Reading This If you can relate to my story, and have not started your fitness journey yet. Just start. Follow the right people who advocate science and not bro-science. Do the right things and you have my word that you'd be a totally different person 6 months from now.
  22. Whenever I look back to my college days, what I remember the most is a lanky 50-kilo kid trying to hide from his bullies. They would call me names and this disturbed me to great lengths. Then I looked into my lifestyle and wasn't really surprised as to why I was so skinny. My activity levels were immensely low, and so was my appetite. The only activities I did were going to the college and coming back home. My diet involved 2 meals a day and some canteen snacks. That's about it. 15th of December 2016 was a remarkable day in my life, I saw an interview of Thakoor Anoop Singh on YouTube. This one video got me so inspired, that I joined a gym the following day. I come from a small town in South India, where we do not have a lot of people to guide us in the right direction. Improper exercise technique and ego lifting soon got me injured and I had to quit the gym for a while. But during this period I learned about fitness as much as I can from YouTube. Yash Sharma Fitness was a vital source to learn exercise techniques, bracing and how to lift heavy. I went back to the gym after a few weeks and decided to take it slow. No more ego lifting and I lifted according to my strength and focused on my technique. Gradually my strength and physique began to enhance. Further, I learned about correct nutrition from YouTube. And after bulking for more than a year, I decided to cut down and aimed to get as lean as possible. I also competed in Muscle-Mania 2018 for which I prepared for 3 months, relentlessly. This journey was awfully exhausting and taught me that bodybuilding is tougher mentally than it is physically. Being a student with limited funds, it was indeed challenging but I enjoyed every bit of it. Like oxygen and water, lifting weights has now become a necessity for me. I am studying to become a professional trainer alongside my college studies but more than the monetary aspect, I love the person I have become due to bodybuilding- disciplined, hardworking & committed. It is something only serious lifters can resonate with. I am very thankful to MensXP Health for allowing me to share my journey and reminiscing how far I have come.
  23. For most of us here in India, travelling finds an unwitting connection to chai. Traversing through the country's picturesque landscape, these heavenly places serving steaming cups of chai can be found in quaint villages high up in the hills, or under the thatched roofs of a dilapidated chai ki tapri along the highway. Yet, no matter where we happen to chance upon one, it never fails to fill our heart with joy at the very sight of it. © Facebook Now, imagine such a tea-stall located in a small village in some part of this country, shouldering the weight of an elderly couple's ardent dreams to explore the length and breadth of not just India, but the entire world. Yes, you are right. This almost seems like an impossible dream when you hear about it at first, but guess what, there exists such a tea-stall and such a couple who have managed to realise their dreams of travelling around the world, by running a tea-stall! © Facebook Vijayan and Mohana, both in their late 60s, are from Kochi in Kerala, but are better known to the world as the “globetrotting couple” who travel around the world by selling tea. Vijayan and Mohana have been running a nondescript tea-stall in Kochi, called the 'Sree Balaji Coffee House' for the past 40 years, and the minimal earnings from that business have allowed them to travel to over 23 countries so far! © Facebook How do they manage to make all this happen you ask? Well, the key to their success is the couple's undying grit and desire. Vijayan and Mohana refuse to be cowed down by the financial restraints or the logistic trivia that might hamper their bigger plans. The elderly couple saves from whatever little they make at their shop, and rely on small loans to fund their travels. After saving Rs. 300 every day for decades, they used it along with their meagre income and bank loans, to explore 23 countries! It was back in 1963 when Vijayan began selling tea in the streets to fulfil the travel dreams he shared with his wife. © Facebook Singapore, New York and Switzerland are some of his most favourite places. The couple has been to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, USA besides many others, but currently, their plan is to check out Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Greenland Norway. There is simply not stopping this duo! For Vijayan, travelling is all about collecting experiences and learning about other people and their culture. Vijayan marvels over the beauty of landscapes and the kinds of people they meet during their travel. © Instagram Their philosophy is simple. Keeping their nest destination in sight, the couple continues to save Rs 300 every day, and keep their expenses to the minimum (they work both as worker and manager of their tiny shop). While on their trip, they spend very little on unnecessary things. Still, the loans they take keep getting piled up, and after every trip, they spend the next three years trying to repay that debt. Their story might be laden with a lot of struggles, but Vijayan and Mohana don't plan to give up as long as their arms and legs are moving. This couple is proof that no amount of limitations are big enough to stop someone from realising their dreams if they set their heart to it.
  24. There used to be a time when Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte was a completely unknown name. Back in the day, with zero videos of her bouts online and not even a single news channel covering her progress, if you'd told her that one day, she is going to be ranked number 1 in the whole world by the International Boxing Federation (AIBA), she would have knocked you out cold with an uppercut for mocking her. #WWCHs2018 Finals - Light Fly (48kg)@MangteC (IND) defeats Mi Hyang Kim (PRK) and becomes 2018 AIBA World Champion!! Congratulations Mary ð¥ð¥ðª#AIBAFamily #ChampsBornHere @BFI_official pic.twitter.com/wlSLmbJHvB — AIBA (@AIBA_Boxing) November 24, 2018 When she was only 13, Mary knew that she wanted to become a professional boxer. Despite her soon-to-be coach Leishangthem Ibomcha Singh, who was responsible for bringing up around 50 international medal winners from within the state of Manipur, constantly challenging her, and her aspirations of becoming a pugilist, Mary, like any stubborn teenager, stuck to what she wanted. Living in an insurgency-bound Imphal, Mary's journey to success was full of constant terror and adversities. With endless reports of kidnappings, shootings and bombings ever since Manipur's merging with India, the idea of 'do whatever your heart says' wasn't exactly a number one priority for the people living there. In fact, the situation was so bad up there, that even Mary Kom's own father-in-law was murdered by the insurgents soon after she got married to Onler Kom in 2005. While there's no denying Mary Kom's hard work and raw passion for the sport that has taken her this far in life, it is Onler Kom, Mary's husband who has been her anchor during the experience. Full of compassion and regard for her wife, Onler has never backed out of supporting her dreams. “I knew her dreams and was ready to help her in every way," Onler told The Times of India. “I had my own dreams, but when I came to know her it changed… I married her for her simplicity and her willingness to become a successful sportswoman.” View this post on Instagram “A man's success is measured by what his wife and children say about him. Money and accomplishments mean nothing if you let your home fail.” With my hubby @onler_kom #travelling @selfclicked #blessings A post shared by Mary Kom (@mcmary.kom) on Dec 5, 2018 at 3:37am PST Despite the support, what a lot of people do not realise is how much being a mother of three can take a toll on your professional career. With a lot of extra responsibilities on her shoulders as compared to any of her opponents along with the growing age, the 35-year-old, somehow, manages not only to take out time to train herself but also to train nearly 130 young and aspiring students at the Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation, an academy initiated by the boxer and her husband to inspire, motivate and train India's finest pugilists of all time. “This Boxing Academy is a reality of my dream of creating a Centre of excellence to produce the best boxing champions for India,” Mary Kom conveys her message on the website. Mary once said that there lies a story of struggle behind every medal that she's ever won. In her long, successful and inspirational career, the Arjuna and Padma Shri awardee has made and broken various records whilst becoming the most successful boxer in the history of Women's World Championships by winning a record 6th gold medal last year. Recently ranked Number One in the world, Mary Kom has no intentions of throwing in the towel just yet as she has already begun preparing for Tokyo Olympics 2020.
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